Mason Neck Kiosk Project
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area, along with many partners, is pleased to announce that construction of a Mason Neck Gateway Kiosk will begin shortly. Planning for the Gateway exhibit began almost seven years ago and will highlight the area’s history and exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities.
Construction of the kiosk is scheduled to begin the first week of November and will last through early winter. BLM staff will be working with the Federal Highway Administration Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division and their contractor to complete the construction.
This wayside exhibit will provide an opportunity for visitors to learn about the many historic, environmental and recreational opportunities available on the peninsula. Also part of a larger network, the kiosk will also serve as a major trailhead for the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail and Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail, as well as an introduction to other trails in the National Trails System. A network of existing and planned trails will enhance the visitor experience by facilitating access to Gunston Hall (a National Historic site), Pohick Bay Regional Park, Mason Neck State Park, Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, and Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area.
Project features will include an access road, a 12-space parking lot, covered kiosk with information panels, lighting, current access to the South Branch Loop Trail and a rain garden for storm water drainage.
Many federal, state and local government agencies collaborated on this project, as well as the Friends of Meadowood, who submitted the initial successful proposal for partial funding in 2006. Project funds are from a variety of sources: the Virginia Department of Transportation Transportation Enhancement Program; Bureau of Land Management; Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail Office, National Park Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Virginia State Parks; Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and Gunston Hall. The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District will also install a rain garden at the site.
An information meeting has been scheduled from 8:30am to 9:30am on Monday, November 4, 2013, at the Lower Potomac Field Station, Building 2 Conference Room at 10406 Gunston Road, Lorton, Virginia 22079.
Please contact John Reffit, (703) 339-3467, for further information. A conceptual site plan for the project is available on request.
Team Wood Thrush
For the second year in a row, Team Wood Thrush paid a visit to the Bureau of Land Managment's Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area in Lorton, Virginia. On Tuesday, April 23, over 30 English As A Second Language students from Hayfield, Virginia, followed Mary A. Elfner, Virginia Audubon Council, into the woods at Meadowood. Students, teachers, and Bureau of Land Management staff followed the Wood Thrush Trail and listened for the sounds of birds.
Mary would hush the crowd as the "calls" would come out of the woods and in the sky overhead. Binoculars raised, ears tuned in to the sounds of the wood thrush, pileated woodpeckers, blue jays and many other species of birds would capture the attention of the students (and adults!). Mary told the crowd that more bird songs could be heard if the weather were sunny and warm, not the chilly temperatures experienced by the current group.
However, many birds did make their presence known. Students were able to identify many of the calls they heard. Virginia Audubon members are frequent visitors to the 13.2 miles of Meadowood trails, and have developed surveys for bird species that may be found here. Visit www.audubonva.org/index.php/conservation-a-counts/occoquan-and-meadowood-area-bird-survey to download a survey.
Meadowood trails are open to the public, sunrise to sunset, seven days a week, free of charge. Trail maps are available at each kiosk and parking area. Plan a visit soon!
Potomac River Watershed Clean-up
Many volunteers assisted the Bureau of Land Management's Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area staff to clean up a portion of the Potomac River watershed on April 13, 2013. Students and adults came prepared in old clothes,wearing boots and gloves as they picked up a dozen bags of debris and trash. There were also ten tires, a large metal frame of unknown origin, rebar and assorted other trash items.
The South Branch of Massey Creek now looks 100% cleaner. Meadowood wants to thank all the volunteers who gave several hours of their time for a good cause!